A pioneering Swiss company has announced that it plans to recruit 50 people for a trial into the efficacy of a Platelet Rich Plasma product on people with the hair loss
condition Androgenetic Alopecia.
Better known as genetic hair loss meaning Male Pattern Baldness
or for women, Female Hair Loss
this hereditary condition affects many millions of people worldwide and is currently treatable by using clinically-proven medications.
Patient's own blood
The Swiss company, Regen Lab SA, is a leading light in the technology of research into Platelet Rich Plasma, a technology known as PRP
which involves drawing a small amount of the patient’s own blood, spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting or rubbing the platelet-rich part of the blood back into the body at the precise point it is needed.
The platelet-rich blood is believed to contain a much higher percentage of proteins called growth factors than would be found in regular blood and the theory is that this has regenerative qualities which can assist the body in a variety of ways.
The Regen test will use a product of theirs called the RegenKit and is expected to start recruiting imminently for an October 2016 completion. Using the double-blind method, researchers will ascertain changes in hair density on the scalp; secondary outcome measures include evaluating the changes of hair diameter and hair shedding.
Trial participant requirements
The trial will span men and women aged between 18 and 60 with specific levels of genetic hair loss
; women will need to be at stages 1-2 on the Ludwig scale, while men are required to measure between 3 and 5 on the Norwood Hamilton scale
No one who has had a hair transplant will be allowed to participate, and anyone who uses the established hair loss treatments Minoxidil
or the men-only daily tablet Finasteride 1mg
will only be included if they have stopped using these medications at least three months before the study starts.
Although the trial was registered in October 2015, it is still not recruiting for participants. Update added June 2017: Regen Lab has updated its clinical trial registration to advise of an anticipated September 2017 start date and a March 2018 completion date.
PRP and hair loss treatment
Although PRP has become increasingly popular for hair loss in recent years, its benefits or efficacy with regards to preventing or regrowing thinning hair
has not yet been clinically proven. All the 'evidence' on this so far is purely anecdotal, that is to say based on word of mouth.
In its announcement of the trial at the clinicaltrials.gov
website, the company mentions this, stating: “Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma is a novel therapeutic modality used in numerous applications. In dermatology, its uses have included treatment of chronic wounds and facial rejuvenation. More recently, anecdotal reports have suggested some efficacy in the treatment of hair loss.
PRP is generally seen as a therapy that can be used alongside
approved hair loss medications
, acting in the manner of a hair growth booster
, rather than a treatment in its own right. Whether this view changes drastically once the results of this and other trials investigating any potential benefits of solo PRP remain to be seen.